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Archive for the ‘Sacha Kljestan’ Category


Links from the weekend
   July 28, 2014 (7:00 AM) by Matt Benson
 

More than few things from the weekend.

As I posted earlier this morning, Terrence Boyd picked up a knee injury over the weekend according to one German report.  Hopefully it is nothing serious.

We had a couple goals this weekend in both real games and friendlies.  Royal-Dominique Fennell probably had the goal of the weekend in Stuttgarter Kickers’ 3. Liga opener.  Jake Keegan scored a pretty easy goal in Galway FC’s win in Ireland.  Matt Horth scored his fourth goal of the year in Leiknir Reykjavík’s win in Iceland.  His four league goals are tied for the third most in the Icelandic 1. Deild (second tier) by a foreign player.  Yay for Icelandic second division stats!

As for some goals in friendlies, Shawn Parker scored a goal on Friday in Augsburg’s 2-1 win over French side Rennes.  Bobby Wood scored a goal in 1860 Munich’s 2-0 win over Stoke City.  Brek Shea also played the entire second half for the Potters.  Here is a photo of Wood in action from the game.  And here is video of the entire first half, but of course Wood’s goal is in the second half (as well as all of Shea’s playing time).

Joe Gyau went the full 90 minutes in Borussia Dortmund II’s 2-1 win over Rot-Weiß Erfurt in their 3. Liga opener.  In the small chance he gets to play with the senior team in a Champions League game, Dortmund have some pretty basic third/Champions League shirts for this season, which is not like Dortmund.

As for Junior Flores, he is starting the season with Dortmund’s U-19 team.  He played with the U-19 team in a 0-0 draw against VfL Wolfsburg in the Ruhr-Cup (apparently Flores didn’t get the snapchat about not smiling).  There are some photos from that 0-0 draw right here.

Gedion Zelalem started and played 45 minutes for Arsenal this weekend in their 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls.  I already posted last Friday that he is good at basketball.  Someone already put together a “every touch” video of his 45 minutes.  It was also the US press’ first chance to really talk to him about potentially playing for the US, but he didn’t really give up the goods.

“No decisions have been made,” Zelalem said of his national team future, later adding, “They’re both great countries. U.S. is on the rise, Germany is already a great country, so whichever country I choose will be a good choice.”

Zelalem confirmed to Goal USA that he has yet to secure a U.S. passport, but did tell media at Red Bull Arena that his application for one is in the works. He also confirmed that he has spoken to U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

“We’ve talked on the phone a few times, but nothing advanced,” Zelalem said. “Just hello.”

Jeff Bradley also got to talk to Arsene Wenger and Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis about Zelalem.

Emerson Hyndman went 90 minutes in Fulham’s 3-0 win over D.C. United.  It sounded like both teams brought pretty weak squads to Jacksonville with the highlights coming from their new jumbotron, a pool and Carrie Underwood.

Sacha Kljestan came off the bench and played seven minutes in Anderlecht’s season-opening 3-1 win against Mouscron-Péruwelz.

John Brooks is back with Hertha Berlin and training after his World Cup vacation.

We saw the post-injury photo of Rubio Rubin last week and now we know more information on what happened.  He ended up breaking his nose and having a concussion.  He had the nose re-set and he will return to training this week without any contact.

For those of you wanting a Fabian Johnson/Borussia Mönchengladbach jersey, he will be wearing #19 this season.

One of the more likeable USMNT players of the last few years, Jay DeMerit, announced his retirement last week.  DeMerit played in 25 games for the USMNT between 2007-2011, including starts in all four games during the 2010 World Cup.  I will always remember him throwing his body in front of every shot during the US’s 2-0 win over Spain in the 2009 Confederations Cup and his somersault over the dog pile after Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria at the 2010 World Cup.

As for a current player that I have done a complete 180 on over the last year and enjoy the heck out of . . . here is your weekly reminder that Jermaine Jones is oddly awesome.

 
Categories: Bobby Wood, Brek Shea, Emerson Hyndman, Fabian Johnson, Gedion Zelalem, Jake Keegan, Jay DeMerit, Jermaine Jones, Joe Gyau, John Brooks, Junior Flores, Matt Horth, Royal-Dominique Fennell, Rubio Rubin, Sacha Kljestan, Shawn Parker, Terrence Boyd
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A bunch of link goodies for Thursday
   July 24, 2014 (12:02 AM) by Matt Benson
 

This summer has been a busy one and here are a bunch more links from the last couple of days.

The big news of yesterday was that DaMarcus Beasley signed a DP contract with the Houston Dynamo.  He becomes the 10th current USMNT player on a designated player contract with MLS.

Danny Williams had surgery on his knee earlier this week.  This is the second time in the last five months that Williams has had some form of surgery on his knee.  No word on how serious or how long he will be out.

Freddy Adu appears to be in talks with FK Jagodina in Serbia.  And he is also getting some interest from a team in Cyprus.

Juan Agudelo has been in Florida training with Orlando City, but much like Brek Shea a couple months ago, this is just a training thing.  He won’t be signing with Orlando City.

Jozy Altidore’s summer vacation is finally ending as he is expected to be back with Sunderland today.

Much like Jermaine Jones throwing out the first pitch with the Dodgers a couple weeks ago, Geoff Cameron did the same with the Red Sox last week and Brad Guzan did it with the Cubs this week.

Do you like stats and numbers?  I did a quick look at Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Geoff Cameron and Alejandro Bedoya yesterday.  I plan on doing another one next week on a couple guys from the Championship.

A few of the younger US players (and prospects) will be making the trek to the US with their European teams in the next week.  Gedion Zelalem is on Arsenal’s roster which will take on the New York Red Bulls on Saturday.  Emerson Hyndman made Fulham’s squad which is headed to Jacksonville to take on DC United this weekend.  And we already know that Julian Green is with Bayern Munich as they take on the MLS All-Stars.  Pep Guardiola spoke to the US press about Green and how he doesn’t want to loan him out this year.

Another youth player, Lynden Gooch, has been receiving some praise from Sunderland fans this week.  Gooch came off the bench with Sunderland’s first team in a friendly against Carlisle United on Tuesday.  Then he made another appearance with the first team on Wednesday in a friendly against Hartlepool United and assisted on one goal (GIF highlights).

Alfredo Morales scored a goal for FC Ingolstadt in a friendly against Nurnberg earlier this week.  Here is a photo of Morales in action.

Sacha Kljestan is still with Anderlecht and went the full 90 minutes in a friendly earlier this week.

Brek Shea is receiving some praise for his play in Stoke City’s friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Edgar Castillo (and his odd #1 jersey number) talked to Tom Marshall about still trying to keep the USMNT dream alive.

Bobby Wood came off the bench in 1860 Munich’s 3-0 win over SV Heimstetten in a friendly yesterday.  Here is a photo of him in action.

For those of you holding out to buy a Junior Flores/Borussia Dortmund jersey, you can go get those #22 jerseys now.  For those ultimate soccer jersey hipsters, Alonso Hernandez will wear #13 for Monterrey in Mexico.

Will Packwood played with Birmingham City’s U-21 team the other day in a private friendly.  Sounds like he missed a little time recently “after suffering from illness”, but he is now back in action.

The US U-20 team now knows the format for January’s CONCACAF U-20 Championship.  It will be two groups of six teams with the winners of each group clinching a spot in the U-20 World Cup, while the second and third place teams from each group doing a four-team playoff for the last two spots.

One player who might be on that U-20 team, Fernando Arce Jr., talked to Brian Sciaretta about selecting to play for the US over Mexico even though his dad played for Mexico.

Goalkeeper Phil Saunders has signed with Icelandic 1st Division side BÍ/Bolungarvik.

Former Bucknell product Conor O’Brien made the jump to Denmark out of college and now another Bison is headed to Denmark.  This time it is Mayowa Alli and he is signing with Vensyssel in the Danish First Division (second tier).

With Roma in Boston this week, Keith Costigan talked to Roma president James Pallotta and Pallotta claims that we can expect “an announcement in the next few weeks” in regards to an American going to the club.  Could the DeAndre Yedlin deal be back on or could it be another player?  Or could it be nothing?  I have no clue.

US Soccer and Sporting Kansas City are building a new National Training and Coaching Development Center in Kansas City.  Sounds like this would be the main training hub for coaches and refs, while I think they will also get some USMNT/USWNT/youth team camps at the complex (along with the StubHub Center in Carson, California) once it is completed.

In the random but awesome jersey department.  I want this jersey of a lower level Spanish team.  And if the Big Ten had pro-style jerseys with sponsors, here is what one person thinks they would look like.  Basically my Hawkeyes would be Borussia Dortmund.

And finally, this site has been receiving a lot more traffic this month (likely due to the World Cup fever) along with a lot more Twitter and Facebook followers.  If you are new to the site, thanks for checking us out.  If you are not new to the site, thanks for continuing to check us out.  It is nice to see this site grow with all of you.

 
Categories: Alejandro Bedoya, Alfredo Morales, Alonso Hernandez, Bobby Wood, Brad Guzan, Brek Shea, DaMarcus Beasley, Danny Williams, DeAndre Yedlin, Edgar Castillo, Emerson Hyndman, Fernando Arce Jr., Freddy Adu, Gedion Zelalem, Geoff Cameron, Jozy Altidore, Juan Agudelo, Julian Green, Junior Flores, Lynden Gooch, Mayowa Alli, Phil Saunders, Sacha Kljestan, Tim Howard, US Men's National Team, US U-20 National Team, Will Packwood
3 Comments
 

Hump day links
   July 16, 2014 (1:12 AM) by Matt Benson
 

Just a couple things for Wednesday.

Greg Seltzer updates us on the latest on the Matt Besler front.  Looks like he is getting a lot of interest from England and we might know an answer about his friendly come Monday.

Mr. Seltzer also informs us that Olympiacos are no longer interested in Sacha Kljestan.

Omar Gonzalez was on Conan last night and here is a part of his interview.

Aron Johannsson had successful ankle surgery yesterday.  He is expected to miss 6-8 weeks according to AZ’s website.  ArJo appears to be in good spirits.

US Soccer put up a little video of highlights while Tab Ramos, Zach Pfeffer and Andrija Novakovich talk about the US U-20′s 2-1 win over Chile from Monday.

One U-20 player not in Carson at the moment is Rubio Rubin as he was busy playing with FC Utrecht’s senior team in a friendly on Tuesday.  Here are a couple photos of Rubin.

Another young player getting some action with a senior team in a friendly on Tuesday was Joe Gyau with Borussia Dortmund.  Gyau got the start and went the full 90 minutes in Dortmund’s 4-1 win over Hessen Kassel.  That link also has a photo of Gyau in Dortmund’s new jersey for this season.

Speaking of Borussia Dortmund, it looks like US U-17 forward Christian Pulisic has also signed (or will be soon) with Borussia Dortmund.

And finally, Screamer/Deadspin have ranked all 171 goals from the World Cup.  Obviously I am biased, but I think Jermaine Jones’ goal was much better than #40.  Also, I personally think James Rodriguez’s goal against Uruguay was the best of the tournament, which they do not.

 
Categories: Andrija Novakovich, Aron Johannsson, Christian Pulisic, Jermaine Jones, Joe Gyau, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, Rubio Rubin, Sacha Kljestan, US U-20 National Team, Zach Pfeffer
No Comments
 

Tuesday morning linkage
   July 8, 2014 (12:01 AM) by Matt Benson
 

I finally sat down this past weekend and wrote a lengthy recap with photos/videos of my trip to Brazil.  You can read it here.

DeAndre Yedlin spoke to The News Tribune’s Don Ruiz about the Roma transfer talk.  He gives some very Crash Davis-coached answers.

Not surprising, but ESPN has been getting some monster ratings for the World Cup.  A mixture of growth of the sport in the US and the US TV-friendly time zones of Brazil.

I re-watched the US’s group stage games this weekend and while Michael Bradley might have been sloppy at times, no one covered the field like he did.  And he did better/just as well against Germany as France’s midfielders.

BBC Sport ran a poll on the best goalkeeper at the World Cup and Tim Howard took home the honors.  Here is also all 16 of Howard’s saves against Belgium in GIF form.

The DTAI Sports Analytics Lab did some analysis on the group stage and put out a PDF on their findings.  CONCACAF performed the best out of any region when compared to “expectations”.

I have posted Mark Yesilevskiy’s prints before but he has done some more of the World Cup, including a USMNT one with the bomb pop jerseys.  I can’t find the article now, but there was a story from one of the UK newspapers recently about the excitement of the World Cup in the US and some Nike spokesperson said that the bomb pop jerseys have been the best selling US jerseys in Nike’s history of making them.

Here is a write up on the various fonts Nike used for their World Cup jerseys.  I love that Dutch font.

Everton’s website did a quick story on the various Americans to play at the club, including Howie’s favorite duo of Cody Arnoux and Anton Peterlin.

Fabian Johnson’s injury that he picked up in the Belgium game doesn’t appear to be serious and he should be returning to full training in two weeks.

Joe Gyau is one of eight players on Borussia Dortmund’s U-23 team who have been invited to the first team’s training camp by Jurgen Klopp.

Sacha Kljestan spoke to Michael Adubato about the start of Anderlecht’s training camp while also being open about a transfer if anything does materialize.

Shawn Parker scored a goal for FC Augsburg in a 3-0 win over Memmingen in a preseason friendly.

NYCFC’s Jeb Brovsky is headed to Norway to go on loan with Strømsgodset.  Strømsgodset currently sit in second place of the Tippeligaen, six points behind Molde FK through 14 games.

It looks like Tijuana won’t be getting a Christmas card from UCLA as they have raided Southern California for yet another player, this time US U-18 defender David Chavez.  The Xolos also had four American-born players in their starting lineup on Saturday against Leones Negros.

Alonso Hernandez started for Monterrey in a friendly against SA Scorpions FC over the weekend.

After playing with Zweibrücken last season, Irvin Raul Parra is now with Kaiserslautern’s U-23 team for 2014-15.

Also making a move this summer, Joey Spivack is now with IBV in Iceland after spending the last two seasons with Kemi Kings in Finland.

Jon-Paul Pittman is on trial with English League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge.  Pittman appeared in 10 league games last season with Wycombe Wanderers while dealing with a knee issue.

Duane Holmes will have a new squad friendly number this season at Huddersfield Town (#19).

And finally, everyone should be a fan of this team in Finland.  Seriously, Sexy Pants.

 
Categories: Alonso Hernandez, David Chavez, DeAndre Yedlin, Duane Holmes, Fabian Johnson, Irvin Raul Parra, Jeb Brovsky, Joe Gyau, Joey Spivack, Jon-Paul Pittman, Michael Bradley, Sacha Kljestan, Shawn Parker, Tim Howard
24 Comments
 

Friday morning links
   July 4, 2014 (12:05 AM) by Matt Benson
 

A bunch of random stuff for you before the weekend.

RB Leipzig’s website officially announced the signing of Terrence Boyd yesterday.

As Howie posted yesterday, Matt Besler and DeAndre Yedlin are getting some interest from Europe after their play in the World Cup.

According to Brian Sciaretta, Aron Johannsson is set to have ankle surgery before the start of the Eredivisie season.  It is unclear when he picked up the injury or how long he will be out.

Cody Cropper signed a new one-year deal with Southampton.

Puebla are trying to re-sign DaMarcus Beasley.  According to Eric Gomez, Puebla initially thought Beasley was asking for too much money but were impressed with his play in the World Cup.

Alejandro Bedoya gave all his USMNT teammates a nice gift after the World Cup.

Could Jermaine Jones be hinting at a move to MLS?

It sounds like Jurgen Klinsmann will be looking at a lot of younger players over the next year when it comes to the USMNT.

“A good thing about this next year is that we kind of have the opportunity to see a lot of young players coming to our platform, coming to the senior team,” said Klinsmann. “We can give them time to show where they are up to right now.

“The experienced players, or the older players, we can tell them for the next couple of months: ‘Go play in your club environment, we know you inside out anyway, we know what you bring to the table. But right now maybe there’s time for the next couple of friendlies that come up and over the next year that we want to see the young players grow and see how they can make it.’”

Greg Seltzer is hearing that at least one Eredivisie team and Genk are interested in Sacha Kljestan as well as Olympiacos.

Stuart Holden will continue to work out with Bolton despite not being under contract.  He will be allowed to play in any friendly, under-21 or development squad games but if he gets healthy again and Bolton want him back with the first team then he would have to sign a new deal.

A possible good sign on the Shawn Parker front?  He lists Germany and US for his nationality on Augsburg’s website.

Here are some photos of Junior Flores and Joe Gyau in action with Borussia Dortmund’s U-23 team.  Mario Rodriguez scored two goals for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Dortmund in this friendly.

Are you buying a Tijuana/Paul Arriola jersey this year?  Heads up that he switched numbers from #47 to a more squad-friendly #20.

Tyrone McCargo is no longer with Nurnberg’s U-23 team.  He is now with SK Austria Klagenfurt in the Austrian Regionalliga Mitte (third tier).

Adam Henley has returned to Blackburn Rovers early before training camp to finish rehabbing his ankle injury before the season starts.

Europa League started back up this week.  Pablo Punyed went 90 in Stjarnan’s 4-0 win over Bangor City.  A Mix Diskerud-less Rosenborg defeated Jelgava 4-0.  Jordan Seabrook came off the bench for 21 minutes in VPS’s 2-1 win over Brommapojkarna.

Alfred Koroma has had an impressive start with Fluminese’s reserve team.

I don’t know if this link will work for everyone, but for those of you that missed PBS’s documentary on Bob Bradley, here you go.

This will probably be the best World Cup analysis you read during the entire tournament.

And finally, one of the guys I hung out with during the World Cup put together a compilation video of the trip down to Brazil.  Hopefully this weekend I can sit down and type up a post with a bunch of my photos and stories from the trip.  It really was a once in a lifetime trip.  If you are even on the fence about going to Russia in 2018, you need to go.

 
Categories: Adam Henley, Alejandro Bedoya, Alfred Koroma, Aron Johannsson, Bob Bradley, Cody Cropper, DaMarcus Beasley, DeAndre Yedlin, Jermaine Jones, Joe Gyau, Jordan Seabrook, Junior Flores, Mario Rodriguez, Mix Diskerud, Pablo Punyed, Paul Arriola, Sacha Kljestan, Shawn Parker, Stuart Holden, Terrence Boyd, Tyrone McCargo, US Men's National Team
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A few new kits for 2014-15
   July 3, 2014 (7:30 AM) by Matt Benson
 

It is that time of year when teams start releasing new kits for the upcoming season or they get leaked out to the internet.  If you are a long time reader of the site, you know that I am a fan of posting these new shirts and jerseys.  Look good, play good?

So check out after the jump to see new kits for seven teams featuring Americans in 2014-15.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Categories: Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau, Julian Green, Junior Flores, Sacha Kljestan, Shawn Parker, Stuart Holden, Tim Howard, Tim Ream
No Comments
 

The return of links
   June 29, 2014 (11:17 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Finally back inside my OT mansion (apartment) in the humidity-free Los Angeles and was able to catch up on the internet and find some links for you guys from the last two weeks.

Thanks once again to RJ for keeping the site going while I was gone.  Feel free to join him in those World Cup prediction posts.

And thanks to David for keeping me up to date on the goals from guys in Sweden, Finland and Iceland while I was gone.  Because of him, I was able to update the goal tracker last night.  Andrew Stadler has been going off in Sweden lately, including five goals in his last four games.

ESPN decided to do a seventh episode of Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil before the Portugal game.  I was finally able to find a version online and updated the post with all the episodes in one convenient spot.

Algeria’s Djamel Haimoudi will be the ref on Tuesday in the US-Belgium game.  This will be his third game as the main ref in this year’s World Cup.

Yahoo Sports’ Martin Rogers wrote some words on how the USMNT is becoming a fan favorite in Brazil.  From my experience of being down there, the locals did enjoy the US fans and were getting into the “I Believe” chant.

Terrence Boyd is getting interest from Red Bull Leipzig, Sporting CP and Wigan Athletic according to Greg Seltzer.  While Boyd waits on his future, he scored twice in a 20-0 win in a friendly for Rapid Vienna over the weekend.

It also looks like Matt Besler has been linked to various teams across Europe, but I could see him staying in MLS.

Joe Gyau is moving from Hoffenheim and will be joining Junior Flores at Borussia Dortmund according to Steven Goff (and Gyau was basically tweeting out all the thanks on Twitter last night).  That is a pretty big move for the speedy 21-year-old.

Andrew Wooten signed a three-year deal with German 2. Bundesliga side Sandhausen.  Wooten played with Sandhausen in 2012-13 while on loan from Kaiserslautern.

Zak Whitbread has signed with Derby County on a one-year deal.  Whitbread appeared in four league games for the Rams last season after being sent out on loan by Leicester City.

There has been a Freddy Adu sighting while I was gone!  He is in Norway doing a trial with Bob Bradley and Stabæk.  And according to Greg Seltzer, there could be some interest in Switzerland for Adu as well.

Herculez Gomez scored a goal in a preseason game for Tigres last week.

The last we heard from Oguchi Onyewu, he was looking at a couple teams in England.  As for last week, he was back in Washington training with DC United.  No clue if this is a trial or just him training for a couple days with his hometown team.

Sacha Kljestan could be getting some interest from Greek side Olympiacos.

Russell Canouse and Hoffenhim’s U-19 team won the U-19 Bundesliga this season.

I will be back tomorrow with a pre-game primer post for the Belgium game.

 
Categories: Andrew Stadler, Andrew Wooten, Freddy Adu, Herculez Gomez, Joe Gyau, Matt Besler, Oguchi Onyewu, Russell Canouse, Sacha Kljestan, Terrence Boyd, US Men's National Team, Zak Whitbread
2 Comments
 

2013-14 OT XI
   June 3, 2014 (9:55 PM) by Howie Michaels
 

It wasn’t exactly a banner 12 months for the OT Faithful. Clint Dempsey, a three-time OT MVP and four-time OT XI honoree, moved to Seattle. Michael Bradley, another OT XI stalwart, stayed abroad but became ineligible. Stuart Holden got hurt and then for good measure got hurt again. Jozy Altidore made a move to Sunderland so disastrous that by the end of the year we were celebrating brief sub appearances as progress. Even Matt Taylor, an old OT favorite, had a down year by his 3. Liga Legend standards.

There were dark times, there is no denying.

It was so dark, I got really lazy and took my time doing this. I was all set to drop this on May 22, but then Landon happened so we needed some space.

But, without further delay, here comes the 2013-14 OT XI. As always, these are the best performances by first-team players (sorry, Julian Green) relative to respective leagues.

Goalkeeper
Tim Howard, Everton (England) [2nd appearance]

It wasn’t that long ago that many were calling for Brad Guzan to supplant the long-time Everton stalwart in goal for the national team, a sentiment no doubt boosted by Guzan’s inclusion over Howard in last year’s OT XI. However, Timmy had a bit of a bounceback year as the Toffees surged into 5th place in the Premier League. While some late losses left Everton a bit short of Champions League qualification, Howard was stellar throughout the year, with Everton finishing 2nd in the EPL in goals allowed. Also, I will be deleting my various tweets and other commentaries suggesting Guzan should usurp Howard with the Nats.

Defenders
Fabian Johnson, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Germany) [2nd]
Will Packwood, Bristol Rovers/Birmingham City (England) [1st]
Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers (England) [1st]
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City (England) [2nd]

Johnson returns to the OT XI for the 2nd time (previously in 2011-12), nominally at LB on paper. The dual-national wrapped up his tenure with Hoffenheim with another season of playing pretty much everywhere wide as Hoffenheim surged from the relegation playoff last year to mid-table this year. Johnson himself will be bouncing further up the table and joining Borussia Mönchengladbach. Packwood returned from a broken leg by initially going out on loan to League Two’s Bristol Rovers before returning to Birmingham and fighting his way into the starting lineup, earning the Football League Young Player of the Month for February. After a rough first full season in England, Ream rebounded to earn Bolton’s player of the year award while playing both centerback and leftback. Finally, with Dempsey gone and Jozy struggling, Geoff Cameron did a fine job carrying the flag of American field players in England, appearing in all but one Premier League match for the Potters.

Midfielders
Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht (Belgium) [4th]
Alejandro Bedoya, Nantes (France) [3rd]
Danny Williams, Reading (England) [1st]

Despite missing out on the World Cup roster, long-time OT favorite Kljestan had a career-high eight goals while helping Anderlecht win its third consecutive Belgian title. Bedoya, a two-time OT XI honoree from his first stint in Sweden, made his return to the list following a successful move to Nantes that saw him score five goals, keep Nantes up after being promoted, and give himself a shot at starting in Brazil. While an injury with the national team caused him to miss several late matches (and helped cost Reading a shot at promotion), Danny Williams enjoyed an otherwise strong debut season in England and makes his first appearance on this squad.

Forwards
Terrence Boyd, Rapid Vienna (Austria) [1st]
Aron Johannsson, AZ (Netherlands) [1st]
Christian Eissele Kemi Kings/Brage (Norway/Sweden) [1st]

What we have here is a trio of forwards who all hit 20 goals across all competitions last year. Boyd improved upon his Austrian debut total with 15 in league play and another five in Europa League. He also got two more sweet tattoos, making his old flag tattoo seem tame. Johannsson mostly picked up the slack with former teammate Altidore gone from AZ, scoring 17 in league play and 20 overall. Eissele, the only one of this group without a cap, dropped in 24 goals last season for Kemi Kings in Finland (mostly after the 2012-13 voting was tabulated) before moving to Brage in Sweden this year.

2013-14 MVP
Geoff Cameron, D, Stoke City

While the Premier League continues to grow in popularity stateside, American outfield players have become increasingly rare. However, the best of them had himself a stellar year with the Potters. The jack-of-all-trades played primarily at right back as Stoke became less boring than historically regarded and surged into 9th place.

Goal of the Year
We’re going back to Finland here and the sweet goal by Miles Byass in a 1-0 win for JIPPO over Vikingit in April. Check it out in GIF and YouTube (1:08) below.

Performance of the Year
Tim Howard had six saves in a 1-0 win for Everton at Manchester United, the Toffee’s first win at Old Trafford since August 1992 and undoubtedly a sweet win over former manager David Moyes.

Thanks for waiting (both you the readers and Matt). Fire away in the comments on who we snubbed.

The OT XI Archives

2009-10
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13

 
Categories: Alejandro Bedoya, Aron Johannsson, Christian Eissele, Danny Williams, Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Sacha Kljestan, Terrence Boyd, Tim Howard, Tim Ream, Will Packwood
9 Comments
 

Friday morning links
   May 9, 2014 (6:15 AM) by Matt Benson
 

Some links before the weekend.

The USMNT 30-man provisional roster is coming out on Monday afternoon.  In case you are not tired of reading roster predictions, I was able to get Howie, Jon, Will and myself to make our guesses at the final 23-man roster, so go check that out.  Based on the comments over the last two weeks, I am sure there will be people who disagree with us, but we all pretty much agreed on a core 15-18 guys.

This is a pretty good bookmark-worthy link, but SI is keeping track of all the World Cup rosters as they get announced.

I did not get to watch Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports piece on the USMNT, but I heard it was alright.  ESPN’s Dougie Mac (a.k.a. Doug McIntyre) was able to spot a potential USMNT friendly against Belgium on June 12 while down in Brazil on Jurgen Klinsmann’s whiteboard during the piece (screenshot).

This is also a reminder that ESPN’s Inside: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil starts up next Tuesday.  Here is the full schedule for the six episodes as they are all on different nights, while here is a short trailer.  As I have said before, Jonathan Hock and Roger Bennett are the producers so you know this is in good hands.

The USMNT fell one spot to #14 in the latest FIFA world rankings.  Not a lot of moves in this month’s rankings.

In case you missed it yesterday, Omar Gonzalez is going to be out a week or two with his knee injury, while Clarence Goodson picked up a shin contusion and is questionable for this weekend’s game.  Doesn’t look like either will hurt their World Cup chances.

Two other players who could be arriving late to camp are Aron Johannsson and Timothy Chandler.  Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar could still have Eredivisie Europa League playoffs to deal with.  They are up 3-0 after the first leg of the semifinals with the second leg this weekend.  If they advance to the final, that would overlap with the beginning of camp.  As for Chandler, Nurnberg could have the Bundesliga relegation playoffs to deal with if they can finish above Hamburger SV and Eintracht Braunschweig this weekend.

Here is part two of Arch Rivals/ASN’s video series on Maurice Edu’s quest to make the World Cup roster.

Sacha Kljestan hasn’t played much in Anderlecht’s last third of the season and now a report out of Belgium has him not happy and that he wants to return to the US.  It even throws out the LA Galaxy’s name, but I don’t see that happening since they already have three designated players.

Continuing with the same theme, a report out of Mexico claims that DaMarcus Beasley wants to leave Puebla for a return to MLS.

It looks like Oguchi Onyewu is one of the few players that is newly out of contract at Sheffield Wednesday that the club wants to re-sign.

The English FA chairman Greg Dyke wants to make it tougher for non-EU players to play in England.  This obviously would hurt Americans if something like this were to come true.

Hey Seattle people, the documentary on Bob Bradley, We Must Go, is making its premiere in your fine city on May 26.  Go buy tickets here.

And finally, 8-bit Landon Donovan says “Deal With It”.

 
Categories: Aron Johannsson, Bob Bradley, Clarence Goodson, DaMarcus Beasley, Landon Donovan, Maurice Edu, Oguchi Onyewu, Omar Gonzalez, Sacha Kljestan, Timothy Chandler, US Men's National Team
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Anderlecht vs. Mons Highlights
   February 16, 2014 (5:03 PM) by Matt Benson
 

Sacha Kljestan found himself back in the starting lineup and scored the first goal of the game in Anderlecht’s 2-0 win over Mons.  He now has nine goals across all competitions this season.  Here are some highlights.

 
Categories: Highlights, Sacha Kljestan
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